“When a spiritual person feels a great calmness of mind in asking anything of God, it is a good sign that God either has granted it or will do so shortly.” St. Philip Neri
I have spent a lot of time looking for signs when I wanted answers from God. I prayed hard and asked for my prayers to be answered. I asked everyone else to pray for me too. Recently, I have been asking for an answer. I had a great request. I thought, novena after novena would work better. This is when we need to remind ourselves that God really is in charge. We pray, but God answers in His time and how he sees fit. On a recent visit to the Carmelites, I recounted how I felt that I was being a hypocrite since I was praying my rosary and praying extra because I had a big request from our Lord. The Sisters reminded me that Our Lord knows that there are situations where we feel a greater need to pray. It is not hypocrisy…it is the human situation that the Lord allows us to undergo. The nuns reminded me that trust in God is something that the Lord does hear, and He always answers, in his own time. God loves us and He carries us. He would not allow us to fail through trap door.
“When we pray, we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us.” St. Jerome
We live in a world where short texts and emoticons have become commonplace. But we don’t read anymore, and we do not listen. Our attention span has become minimal. This is unfortunate because we are missing out on opportunities to read about our Catholic greats who suffered a great deal. I need to look at these great examples who can affirm my faith. We are not alone in our faith in Christ and His Church. Struggles are a part of life but the faith to endure comes from Someone greater.
“When you see the storm coming, if you seek safety in that firm refuge which is Mary, there will be no danger of your wavering or going down.” St. Josemaria Escriva
I want to seek that safety, that refuge in our Dear Mother. Two feast days come to my mind this week. St. Justin Martyr and St. Charles Lwanga. Both were persecuted for their firm commitment to the faith. While Justin was in Rome to teach philosophy and spent time with the elite of the city, he was still subject to persecution for being a Christian. In the second century, A.D., Justin, and other Christians were called to answer for their ‘crime’. The trial was recorded, and the group responded to the allegations, “Do as you wish; for we are Christians, and we do not sacrifice to idols.” This was bravery! And they died for it. Similarly, St. Charles and his companions suffered at the hands of the king in Uganda. The king had his designs on them, but they stood firm and died being faithful to Christ! This was no easy task that was asked of them. I need to be reminded of this every day. Christ really is our anchor.
“What does it matter to you where Jesus wishes to guide you to heaven by way of the desert or by way of the meadow. So long as he is always with you, and you arrive at the possession of a Blessed Eternity.” Padre Pio